Another Monday morning, another work week, another day back into the routine. “Ants Marching” is not only the Dave Matthews Band’s signature song and one of the better musical takes in the past generation or so about the rat race that daily life can be. It’s also a reminder that the world needs more soprano sax/violin solos.
What shall we talk about this week?
Since it’s Pentecost Sunday, there are thousands of churches that will be singing “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” this morning. Here’s composer (arranger, producer, singer, and gospel music legend) Doris Akers with her version.
Part of what’s fun about listening to the Thad Jones – Mel Lewis Orchestra at the height of its powers—as in this 1968 live video of “The Groove Merchant”—is the fun they were having making the music. Check out the reactions (at about 2:20 and 6:20 respectively) to the gorgeous and playful solos of pianist Roland Hanna and bassist Richard Davis by band leader Thad Jones and the other musicians .
The band is what it started out as: a bunch of New York’s best jazz musicians looking to have some fun on Monday nights (the slowest night of the week for music clubs, many are closed) when they came home off the road. Yes, they wanted to please the audience and get paid, but they also were the kind of band that played so that they could have fun too.
Whatever you’re doing today, here’s hoping you get to make some fun with it.
Many thanks to the editors of Commonweal for offering the opportunity to write for the magazine about the effort underway within the archdiocese of Boston to reorganize its ministry for the 21st century, and for shaping and improving the piece* that just went up on their website.
Here’s a taste to whet your appetite:
Last fall, the Archdiocese of Boston released an ambitious plan designed to stem the decline it has experienced—in priests, Mass attendance, and treasure—since the 2002 wave of sexual-abuse scandals. The plan, called “Disciples in Mission,” will be phased in throughout Boston’s 288 parishes over five years. Cardinal Seán O’Malley hopes it will not only slow the decline of the archdiocese—some of it self-inflicted, some caused by powers beyond its control—but will also create the conditions for eventual growth. Whether the plan will work remains an open question. That something needs to be done is a sentiment shared widely among Boston-area Catholics.
*Yes, all remaining mistakes are my own.